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Thread: Leaking Bradford White Gas Hot Water Heater

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Mark in Virginia's Avatar
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    Exclamation Leaking Bradford White Gas Hot Water Heater

    Hi ya'll newbie here with a few questions....I have a 3 y/o Bradford White model # MI 5036 FBN which started leaking last Tuesday. I called B/W & they will replace under warranty but I have to pay labor. I asked about replacing it myself but they will not allow me to because of "safety reasons". I'm ok with that.....plumber say's tank has split & it will cost $600.00 for the swap.( I think that's a little steep) It's in the garage & easy access. The local supplier say's the water heater is on back order & I'll have to wait a week or more. The water heater still works & I have a bucket under it to catch the water. Now here's the questions.....The tank stopped leaking yesterday.......So if the tank is split how is it NOT leaking anymore??? Has the plumber missed diagnosed the problem??? He already has $100.00 of my money towards the swap of the water heater (service call) Am I being taken for a ride? It sure feels that way.

    Any and all comments would greatly be appreciated!

    Mark

  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    $600 for labour? Ouch! When my water heater failed, I did the math and it was cheaper for me to replace it with a rental since there was no installation fee.

    Chances are the leak plugged up with sediment or mineral deposits and it's just a matter of time before it leaks again, maybe worse.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Mark in Virginia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    $600 for labour? Ouch! When my water heater failed, I did the math and it was cheaper for me to replace it with a rental since there was no installation fee.

    Chances are the leak plugged up with sediment or mineral deposits and it's just a matter of time before it leaks again, maybe worse.
    Thanks for the reply.....You can rent a water heater in Canada? No such animal here in the US. Please explain.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Ja, the rental just gets tacked onto our gas bill. The gas company has a deal with the rental agency which in turn has a flat rate deal with the contractor. If a water heater lasts less than 10 years, we come out ahead on the rental.

    Only in Canada, you say? Pity!

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    A water heater is covered with insulation and a metal covering. Without taking the outer covering off, it would be hard to guess.
    Most leaks on new heaters, is at the upper connections. If it leaks at the top threads, that water can drip toward the bottom.
    If your plumber came out and snugged up the connections, that may have fixed it.
    Some plumbers try to reuse the flex connectors from the old installation. I tell my guys that if a flex connector is ever removed for any reason, it gets tossed and a new one is installed. The rubber seals take a set against the inlet pipes, and unless you loosen and resnug without moving anything, they will leak. You may not notice right away, but then you get the phone call fifteen minutes later from the homeowner that it is. That added 1/2 for the call, maybe an added 1.5 hours if you got to the next job, and those turned out to be very expensive flex connectors. I want my guys to "Get er done!"

    The last Bradford White that I replaced was one I installed sixteen years ago.
    They used to rent tanks in Washington State. My mother was paying $12.81 a month. Her's lasted twentyone years. At $12.81 a month, she would be paying $3,228.12 for the next tank, except that they would be raising the rental fee every so years, so maybe her new rented tank would have cost $4,000.00 or $5,000.00
    If you have the money, you're better off buying a new tank.

  6. #6
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    If you have the money, you're better off buying a new tank.
    I have the money but I guess I should have bought a Bradford White instead of a State cuz the State tank didn't last nowhere near 21 years. With the water quality I have, I wonder what the inside of my State tank would have looked like after 21 years. I once lived in a rental where the old tank was so heavy from mineral buildup that they just left it in the basement where it stood and plumbed up the new one beside it. No idea how old it was.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member Mark in Virginia's Avatar
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    Terry,

    Thanks for the response...the technician just pulled the cover off the bottom & looked in the glass view port....never touched a fitting.

    The water heater has been in since the house was built 3 years ago.....I did snug up the fittings myself after he left. I did not see any wetness at the top of the unit however. I think I'll call the plumber tomorrow & see what he say's.

    This is very frustrating to say the least....as for the sediment plugging back up the split....I seriously doubt that.....We are on city water and after only 3 years of service I don't think that's a possibility.

    Mark

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark in Virginia View Post
    Thanks for the reply.....You can rent a water heater in Canada? No such animal here in the US. Please explain.
    Many years ago, in MA, my folks rented the water heater from Essex County Gas. Whatever they paid over the years was well worth it to a retired couple. If it went out, it was replaced WITHIN THE HOUR! No worries mate!!

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